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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ahmadinejad clamps down on speech


TEHRAN -- "Newspapers have been closed, intellectuals arrested, satellite dishes confiscated and Internet traffic disrupted in what is seen as a delayed crackdown more than a year after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran's president.

The trend is prompting some reformers and traditionalists to come together in an unlikely alliance to oppose the president.

The state-owned newspaper Iran reopened recently after a six-month closure prompted by a caricature that mocked ethnic Turks, Iran's most powerful minority, which sparked weeks of rioting. But several reformist journals remain off the shelves.

Iran's leading pro-reform daily, Shargh, was shut down in September, as was Nameh, a political journal with liberal leanings. On Oct. 19, a new moderate daily employing many of Shargh's journalists was pulled from circulation and banned from publishing political news or analysis. Foreign reporters also have been expelled.

It is all part of a crackdown that many Iranian commentators have been predicting since the election of Mr. Ahmadinejad in June 2005. In recent months, several intellectuals and political activists have been arrested and a series of measures put in place to restrict Iranians' access to information from abroad." Read more...


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